Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th and six intelligence and law enforcement agencies will continue to investigate his rise to power in connection with the Russian government.
The investigation, which includes the FBI, CIA, and NSA has been ongoing since the Spring of 2016. The focus has been to gather information regarding how the Russian government funneled money to various sources which were working to infringe upon the sovereignty of American elections.
Two individuals familiar with the ongoing investigation, who spoke on a condition of an anonymity to protect the investigation’s integrity, laid out some of the damning details. At issue is a system which was used to pay Russian-American citizens who received a pension and how some of that money was used to either pay hackers employed by the Russian government directly, or to conduits who then paid the hackers.
Trump’s team has desperately been attempting to do damage control to keep this investigation’s information shielded from the public. This is particularly true after the Director of National Intelligence (which is in charge of overseeing all major U.S. intelligence agencies) reached the conclusion in a now declassified report that Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin was personally involved in directing the hackers to attempt to influence the election.
The news, as damning as it is, is only the tip of the iceberg for Trump according to Susan Hennessey who is a former attorney for the NSA. She claims that the information made available to the public is paltry compared to the evidence which has been already collected:
If, in fact, law enforcement has obtained a FISA warrant, that is an indication that additional evidence exists outside of the dossier.
A FISA warrant is issued by the ultra-secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court which was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The court’s purpose is to oversee top-secret warrant requests by U.S. intelligence agencies to obtain information on foreign spies who are working against the United States.
Unfortunately the investigation may be in its final days, as intelligence agencies ultimately take their orders from the president. Once Trump is inaugurated it is highly unlikely he will continue to authorize an investigation whose focus is to prove his own complicity in Russia’s treachery. There is, however, still hope as after the news of the Director of National Intelligence’s report became public it sparked interest in other foreign intelligence agencies to initiate their own investigations into Trump and Russia.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.